When compared to a traditional leash with a fixed-length, a retractable leash offers freedom and flexibility for your dog to explore when the situation calls for it. There’s also an added sense of control for you and comfort for your dog when using a retractable.
Of course, you want to take the time to choose a retractable leash that’s going to work for your dog’s needs and is going to be safe. Not all retractable leashes are the same, and certain factors make some better than others. These factors include design and materials.
Are Retractable Leashes Better Than Traditional Leashes?
You may be skeptical that retractables are the way to go, after all, the internet is full of articles calling them dangerous, but the reality is that retractable dog leashes are better than fixed-length leashes.
The big differentiator that makes a retractable the better option over a fixed length leash is the flexibility it provides. You can keep your dog close to your side when needed, and then, when you have the option, you can also give them the freedom to roam by simply pushing a button.
Your dog has the freedom to explore their surroundings, but as soon as you feel it’s best for them to be close to you, it’s easy to facilitate that.
Retractable leashes are also easier to control than a traditional leash because you don’t have to gather the slack up on your own. Instead, a retractable leash is always gathering itself, doing a lot of the work for you as far as avoiding extra slack. Too much slack is basically the biggest safety risk possible for dog walkers, so this is important.
When your dog has the options and freedom that come with a retractable leash, it helps build their confidence. They learn how to explore the world around them, but also to come back to your side when it’s time.
Another benefit to retractable leashes is that they tend to be more comfortable and fun to use. It’ll encourage you to go on more walks, keeping your dog fit and happy.
When Is It Safe to Use a Retractable Leash?
In almost every situation, using a retractable leash is a safe option, on par with the use of a traditional fixed-length leash. In many instances, using a retractable leash is actually safer because you don’t have to actively manage the slack. The leash instead automatically retracts itself.
While a retractable leash can be just as safe if not safer than a retractable leash, you do have to be a mindful and responsible pet owner all the same. Get practice setting and using the brake in a safe, low-traffic environment.
Make sure that you’re always paying attention to what’s happening around you and what your dog is doing because no leash can make up for inattentiveness.
The best times to use a retractable leash include:
- If your dog is trained or well behaved and knows not to chase or pull, a retractable leash is a good option. If your dog hasn’t yet mastered these skills, using a retractable leash can actually be a good way to teach them if you practice in safe environments first with few obstacles.
- If you walk in an open space, you can give your dog plenty of space to roam.
- Harnesses work well with retractable leashes, although you shouldn’t use one that has a leash attachment at the front of your dog.
The biggest downside of a retractable leash comes from your behavior when you’re walking a dog. If you aren’t paying attention, you might inadvertently give too much space to roam, and that can be risky.
If there is a lot of traffic, or there are other people or dogs nearby, keep your dog glued at your heel, meaning by your side. Remain alert. When you’re walking your dog, don’t let the leash run slack—instead, let it reel as your dog gets closer.
If something does go wrong, take a deep breath, and don’t panic. Work to handle the situation calmly, untangling the leash, setting the brake and moving away from things like traffic and other dogs.
Get Your Retractable Leash Today!
Before purchasing a retractable leash, make sure to realize that quality is of the utmost importance. Not all retractable leashes are the same.
First, pay attention to weight limits when you’re choosing a leash. If anything, go up as far as the weight limit is concerned to make sure that the leash is rated powerful enough to stop your dog, particularly if your dog has a history of pulling or lunging.
Look for durable materials such as stainless-steel clips and a ribbon or tape leash style. Avoid nylon cord leashes—they’re not only prone to damage, but they’re also significantly more dangerous than ribbon or tape-style leashes.
Brake control quality is also important because this is ultimately what lets you have control over your dog. Choose a leash that lets you set an upper limit for how far you want to let your dog walk. Some leashes have a lock control, but that actually increases the tangle risk so a traditional brake control tends to be a better option than a lock control.
As you’re choosing a leash, think about a handle that’s durable, but ergonomic and which is going to feel good in your hand.
Which Retractable Dog Leash Should I Buy?
To simplify your shopping experience, choose a leash from Pet&Cuddle, where we design products to offer maximum support and comfort for both dog owners and their pets.
Our top-rated retractable dog leashes are safe, comfortable and affordable, and designed to suit the needs of 99% of dog owners. These leashes are strong enough to keep your dog safe and secure while providing them will plenty of room to roam so that they can explore, build confidence, and remain both happy and healthy.